Thursday night the world watched as one of my favorite comedy shows premiered its final episode and took its final bow. 30 Rock has run for seven seasons. Like most shows it had some weaker seasons towards the end but when it was in its prime, it was one of the most clever shows on television. Ending any television show must be difficult but I would imagine it would be even more difficult to end a comedy series. I went into the finale with high hopes and have to say that I was left very satisfied.
30 Rock is written and created by Tina Fey and is based on her experiences writing for Saturday Night Live. The show is your basic show within a show (if there is such thing as a basic show within a show). Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) is the head writer for a show called the Girlie Show on NBC. When a new head of NBC is hired, Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin), the show is fundamentally changed when they hire the notoriously difficult comedian Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan). That all happens in the first episode and the stage is set for the rest of the show. While there is no arguing that 30 Rock’s main characters are Liz, Jack, Tracy and TGS’ other star Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski), the show is also filled with an insane supporting case. This includes TGS writers, the TGS producer Pete Hornberger (Scott Adsit), Kenneth the Page (Jack McBrayer), and Tracy’s entourage Grizz and Dotcom. Throughout the seven years we have spend at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the supporting staff has become as important as the main characters. Going into the finale I wanted every character to have their own happy ending and for the most part I wasn’t disappointed.
In a special one hour episode, we get to see Liz finally obtains her happy family, Jack obtains his life’s goal, Tracy is able to say a real goodbye and Jenna finally feels real emotions. Kenneth the page’s wildest dream is fulfilled, Pete is finally able to escape his life and Lutz gets back at the writer’s for all the crap they have given him in the past. Each character is left happy in life yet sad that TGS is ending. The finale does a great job of giving each character the ending that they need and deserve
A show that has built its humor on sarcasm and unique ploys, 30 Rock stays true to form and uses every tool in its arsenal during the finale. Pulling jokes from the first episode, the hour season finale was a 30 Rock joke greatest hits reel. From mentioning a fake, made up TV show advertisement inset to Tracy Jordan being unable to pronounce Jenna Maroney’s name (My Bologna) 30 Rock again proved the brilliance of its writers and that it can easily be the cleverest show on television.
I’m always nervous going into a finale, hoping and praying that the show leaves me satisfied and I will happily be able to say goodbye to my favorite characters without remorse or regret. 30 Rock did a perfect job wrapping up the show. A dramatic end, which puts Liz and Jack into their first real fight, leads to each character saying what they need to say to one another. We do get a one year flash forward, showing what all the characters end up doing but my favorite part of the episode occurs with just a few seconds left where, as they always do, the show throws a classic 30 Rock sarcastic element to stop the dramatic farewell. I was very happy with this final episode and can honestly say that I was able to wish a fond farewell to 30 Rock.
Four seasons, four full seasons of television have been building to this series 4 finale. Like cockroaches, the Daleks somehow managed to survive, return to power and threaten the entire universe This time however, the Daleks returned with their creator, Davros, and have found a way to wipe out all of reality. By stealing planets and aligning them in the correct order, the Daleks have created a power source capable of enhancing their reality bomb (a weapon with the ability to destroy reality) to reach the entire universe. To save the day, the Doctor and his companions must band together and destroy the Dalek’s new empire.
The Doctor’s companions seem to crawl out of the woodwork when the Earth is stolen and humanity itself is threatened. Official companions Donna Noble, who is the Doctor’s companion for all of Series 4, Sarah Jane and Martha Jones, the Series 3 companion, ban together to help save the Earth. Unofficial companions also join the battle. Captain Jack, head of Torchwood, returns and puts his inability to be killed to good use. Mickey Smith returns from the parallel universe and even brings Jackie Tyler. Though it was nice to see all the mentioned characters again, nothing made me happier than seeing the triumphant return of Rose Tyler.
This hour long episode of Doctor Who was the most enjoyable hour of television I have had the pleasure of watching. Each character that returned was a wave of happiness and nothing was more satisfying than seeing the Doctor and his companions fly the TARDIS, and with it the earth, home. No episode better showcases the wit, skill and absolute brilliance of the Doctor Who team of writers. Everything that Doctor Who fans crave happens in this episode. Rose Tyler returns across a universe to see her Doctor one more time. Donna Noble finally realizes how important her role in the universe is. The Doctor’s secret army, his companions whose lives he has changed forever, ban together to save the Earth in the Doctor’s absence and they all survive (except for Captain Jack but death doesn’t really faze him). Despite all of this however, the show cannot leave us with simple happiness. Once again, the show left me devastated.
Last time it was Rose Tyler leaving the universe but this time it was Donna Noble. After a full season of self doubt and some fairly horrible events (getting a “fake” family in the library, having her history rewritten, destroying Pompei ect.) Donna is finally given her moment to shine. Inadvertently sparking some of the Doctor’s energy, Donna becomes the first half human half Time Lord. Using the knowledge she gained from the Doctor, Donna single handedly saves all of reality. Releasing the Doctor and his army, Donna helps to right the wrongs the Daleks caused and returned everybody to their rightful places. Once the day is saved and Donna’s rightful place in the universe is revealed, it becomes clear what sacrifice she must make. Reality could have only been saved by a human Tim Lord but there is a reason a human Time Lord has never existed. Donna’s mind cannot handle the knowledge and power that comes with being a Time Lord. To continue living, she must forget that she is a Time Lord which means she must forget anything that could remind her of the Time Lords. To save her life, the Doctor must erase every memory of himself and their time together from Donna Noble’s head.
Where Rose Tyler was originally stuck in another world without the Doctor, she at least had her memories with him. Donna is afforded no such luxury. Instead, to keep her alive, the Doctor himself must wipe every happy memory they had together from her mind. Doctor Who proves itself to be an outstanding television show. Easily taking me through a vast range of emotions in a single hour, this finale makes me wonder what is going to happen to this amazing show when David Tennant lets go of the reigns and the Doctor regenerates.